Sand, 45 min, 2011, DV cam
45’ belgesel/documentary
Türkçe/English subtitled 2011

At one end of the chain there are the popular blue jeans while on the other end in unregistered workshops there are the bodies of people who contracted mortal lung diseases. While the more expensive stonewashed jeans are sold the workers’ lifes fade away.

Group of former sandblasting workers, lowyers, doctors, artists and activists came together to stop this deadly practise worldwide.

Very fast.

Selçuk Erzurumlu, Can Aydın, Serkan Çiftçi, Ethem Özgüven

Selçuk Erzurumlu, Ethem Özgüven

Petra Holzer, Ethem Özgüven

Directed by:
Petra Holzer, Selçuk Erzurumlu, Ethem Özgüven


4857, 30 min, 2008, DV cam

Tuzla Cemetery overlooks Tuzla Shipyards. Now start walking down the cemetery slope. On your left is the military zone, green and devoid of humans. Then all of a sudden you see nothing but concrete blocks of flats. The workers leave their homes around seven in the morning to work “outside”, in the shipyards, in leather and supply industries. Among the family flats you can also find bachelor apartments filled with beds and longing for families. Keep walking down the slope: factories manufacturing small ship parts, the unceasing roar from the İçmeler Köprüsü on the E5 freeway, the never empty labor pick-up strip at the crossroads, the sound of the local express train. Walk pass the İçmeler stop, and here is Aydınlı Bay packed with almost all of Turkey’s shipyards. The workers who go through forty eight different doors everyday, hundred men high cranes, steel sheets, the speed and sweat which merge them into one. The time unit in the shipyards is the fleeting instant a cigarette bud is dropped on the floor, the split second between making a living and death between hope and pain, their and ours. Tuzla Cemetery overlooks Tuzla Shipyards.

Petra Holzer, Selçuk Erzurumlu, Ethem Özgüven

Selçuk Erzurumlu, Ethem Özgüven

Selçuk Erzurumlu, Petra Holzer

Serkan Çiftçi, Bülent Özcan

Production Assistants:
Can Aydın, Sibel Peres

Aslı Odman, Nevra Akdemir

Alaattin Timur

Festival participations:
LaborFest, San Francisco, USA, 2008
Documentarist, Istanbul, Turkey, 2008
International Golden Orange Film Festival, Antalya, Turkey, 2008
Interfilm Festival, Nürnberg, Germany, 2009
Mahmut Tali Öngören Human Rights Award


Alethea, 41 min, 2007, Mini dv

Since the year of 1989 multinational mining companies have been coming to Turkey in order to mine gold with the cyanide leaching process. Eurogold, an Australian and Canadian joint venture is one of them. Their mine is situated in Bergama. The people living in Bergama and the 17 villages in the surroundings started to resist the project. The people won all the instances of their legal struggle. However, the mine still operates.

The story in the documentary is about the people and their long struggle. We followed their struggle since 1996.

Alper Maral

Sound Mixing:
Bülent Özcan, Serkan Çiftçi

Visual Design
Gökhan Eryaman, Tamer Karakulak

Ethem Özgüven

Ahmed Elmahi

Festival participations:
• Planet in Focus, Toronto, Canada, 2008
• Re-Frame Festival, Canada, 2009
• International Istanbul Film Festival, Turkey, 2008
• Cine pobre, Cuba, 2007
• International Rodos Eco Films and Video Arts Festival, Rhodes, Greece, 2007
• “Cinema Vérité” International Documentary Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, 2007
• Interfilm Festival, Nurnberg, Germany 2007
• International Film Festival, Ankara, 2007
• Flying Broom Women’s Film Festival, Ankara, 2007
• International Labor Filmfestival, Istanbul, 2007
• Golden Orange International Film Festival, Antalya, Turkey, 2007
• German Turkish Film Days Stuttgart, Germany, 2007
• Turkish Filmdays, Munich, Germany, 2008
• Documentarist, Istanbul, Turkey, 2008
• International Panorama of Independant Film and Video Makers, Patras, Greece, 2008
• London Turkish Film Festival, Great Britain, 2008

A chronicle of a documentary:
"Alethea" is the fourth documentary in a series. The first documentary was named "No" in 1997. It was distributed to the judges of the State Council who later ruled in the favor of the people of Bergama. This was one of the many decisions against the mine and in favor of the health and rights of the people. "No" was awarded at the Bodrum International Envrionmental Film Festival. The second documentary was called "People of the Light" (1998) and described the court events and the illegal efforts of the multinational mine corporation which was supported by the government at the time. This documentary was screened in Queens Public TV channel (NY), Aubagne Biennial (France) and found its own channels of distribution as being shown in public squares, coffeehouses, NGO-meetings, meetings to organize more resistance movements. As the struggle did not stop we had to make a third version called "The People of the Light's Long Walk" in 2000. The film was screened at "One World Human Rights Film Festival" (Prague, 2001), Concrete Doc (NL, 2002) and Bodrum International Documentary Film Festival (Bodrum, 2004) and once again in Queens Public TV channel (NY). Later the documentary was admitted as evidence in favor of the people in the European Human Rights Court / Strasbourg. The Court ruled also in favor of the people.

In the year 2007 we finished the fourth documentary called “Alethea” as the people kept fighting and a whole new area in the Aegean started the same fight against multinationals and national companies declaring very important natural parks, agricultural land and water resource areas as locations for cyanide leaching gold mines. This documentary was awarded with the “Audience Award” at the “Boston Turkish Film Festival” and “2nd price for documentary” at the “International Environmental Film Festival” in Istanbul and screened in many countries and festivals. At the same time DVDs of the documentary was shown in the Greek islands, Turkey and many other countries in many public meetings to create once again resistance and to pay tribute to the courage of the people in Bergama.

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